World’s Strangest

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Uzbekistan Cancels Valentine’s Day

Planning something special for Valentine’s Day? Not if you’re in Uzbekistan. The authorities in the Central Asian nation has canceled Valentine’s Day: Instead, residents in the capital of Tashkent can enjoy readings of [...]

Happy 20th Birthday, Kazakhstan!

Kristina Postnikova / Shutterstock.com The largest country in Central Asia—it’s as big as all of Western Europe combined—turns 20 years old today, and to celebrate, here’s a list of ten random facts about everyone’s favorite Kazakh-speaking ‘Stan. 1. For Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan Borat, the fictional reporter invented by the English comedian Sasha Baron Cohen, [...]

What Happened When Turkmenistan’s President for Life Died?

© Tim Brakemeier/dpa/Corbis When Saparmurat Niyazov died in 2006, Turkmenistan lost its so-called “President for Life.” During his 16-year reign over this impoverished Central Asian country, Niyazov built a formidable cult of personality around himself, indulging in all manner of nutty dictatorial behavior, including renaming days of the week and months of the year after himself [...]